Option 1: County Commissioners Pass a Resolution Putting the Library District Issue on the Ballot

This is definitely the easiest option for you. If the county commissioners are supportive of your desire to become a public library district they can save you some work by holding a hearing about the library district idea and then passing a resolution to put the issue on the ballot. You will have to create a few legal documents for the commissioners before they can pass this resolution, but it's good to know which route you have to take as soon as possible. When you first talk to county commissioners find out if they are willing to pass a resolution. Here's a brief summary of the steps that would be taken if the County Commission passed a resolution.

A resolution of intent to form a public library district is adopted by the governing body of the county. This resolution schedules a public hearing on the question of forming the district and sets forth the various issues that should be considered at that hearing.

  • The governing body of the county conducts an open hearing.
  • If the governing body views the open hearing results as supportive of a public library district, it adopts a resolution which sets the boundaries, maximum mill levy, and number of trustees for the proposed district, and calls for an election on the question of whether to create the district.
  • An election is held.
  • If a majority of the votes cast at the election approve formation of a district, the governing body of each county with territory included in the proposed public library district shall certify that the district is formed and appoint the initial members of the district's board of trustees.

If the county commissioners agree to pass a resolution here are some of the materials and/or information that you will need (based on MCA 22-1-702; again this is a summary so please refer to the actual text of the law):

  • A map and description of the boundaries of the district;
  • The maximum mill levy for the proposed district;
  • The number of members you wish to have on the board of trustees; and
  • And whether or not you wish this to be held in conjunction with a regular, primary or mail-in ballot election

The text of the resolution will cover all of the above information along with a call for an election on the question of whether or not to have a district. We will talk about each of these items after discussing the petition option, since the petition route requires the same materials.

ASPeN: The New Library Directory

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